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Useful Information

It is advised that you to exercise normal safety precautions in Mauritius. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in your own country. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.

See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers. See www.info-mauritius.com/travel-mauritius for more local information

Language

Main language is Creole. The roots of Creole are in the French language, just skip some grammar and mix it with English, Arab, Indian and some African dialects.

Cultural language is French. Newspapers are published mostly in French and TV is showing most of the emissions in French.

Almost everybody understands English. It is the business-language, almost all contracts and laws are in English. Children are starting school with French and English.

Entry and exit

The Mauritian government provides visas free of charge to visitors. Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Mauritius for the most up to date information.

Immigration officials at port of entry require all visitors to Mauritius to provide accommodation details. Failure to do so may result in denial of entry to Mauritius.

If you are arriving in Mauritius from a country known to have malaria, you will receive a follow-up visit from the Mauritian Health Department and will be required to undertake a blood test to check for the malaria-causing parasite.

If you are arriving from a country, where yellow fever is endemic, evidence of a yellow fever vaccination is required.

In an effort to prevent the spread of Ebola into Mauritius, authorities have banned the entry of foreign nationals who have visited EVD affected countries in the previous 21 days.  For more information on the outbreak and other travel restrictions and preventative measures, see the Ebola outbreak in West Africa travel bulletin.

Make sure your passport is valid for your proposed duration of stay in Mauritius. It should have at least one blank visa page.

Safety and security

Crime

Crime levels in Mauritius are low, although petty crime against tourists, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching and robbery, can occur. There have been incidents of assault, rape and murder, including in resorts. Street robberies near or at ATMs have also been reported. Take extra care when withdrawing cash.

The rate of crime is higher in downtown Port Louis, and in the coastal tourist centres of Grand Bay, Pereybere, and Flic en Flac. Security risks increase after dark especially on beaches, poorly lit city streets and in other secluded areas. You should avoid walking alone at night. There have been incidents of tourists being assaulted and robbed while staying at beachside bungalows run by unregistered proprietors. Money and valuables should be secured at all times.

Mauritian authorities have taken steps to enforce law and order by introducing camera surveillance around the country, particularly in high tourist areas. The Tourist Police service (Police du Tourisme) can be telephoned on +230 210 3894 or +230 686 5500. The police emergency hotline is 999.

Civil unrest/political tension

Rallies and demonstrations occur occasionally in Mauritius. You should avoid demonstrations and keep clear of large crowds.

Money and valuables

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

Currency

The local currency is the Mauritius Rupee (MUR)

Exchanging currency in Mauritius to get the best exchange rate is recommended.  There are a host of exchange bureaus in the arrivals hall of the airport where you can exchange your money for the best rate.  Typically, exchange rates in home countries are not as good as the exchange rate in Mauritius.

Euro, US and other currency are not widely accepted, for more information see Info-Mauritius.com

Local travel

Road travel

While road infrastructure continues to improve, most roads except the motorway, are narrow, uneven and poorly lit. Many lack guardrails and are bordered by deep ditches. Pedestrians, motorcyclists and stray dogs are additional road hazards.

Public transport

Transport by bus (public and private services) is available between all main town centres from 5am to 11pm and in remote areas until 6pm. Taxis are also available during the day, but it is recommended that you book in advance if travelling at night.

Transport and tour operators

Prior to engaging in ocean sports activities, you should ensure water-sport operators hold a valid permit issued by the Ministry of Tourism. Sufficient safety equipment may not be provided and recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions may not be observed. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if others do not. If appropriate safety equipment is not available, you should use another provider. You should also ensure operators are able to contact the coast guard if necessary, particularly during activities, which require venturing further out at sea, such as swimming with dolphins or diving. Foreign tourists have died in accidents during water sports activities.

Accessibility

Accessibility and accommodation for individuals with disabilities are limited in Mauritius. The government has partially implemented a law requiring wheelchair access to new buildings. However, many older buildings remain inaccessible to wheelchairs.

Laws

You are subject to the local laws of Mauritius, including those that appear harsh by your countries standards. If you are arrested or jailed, you will need to know the details of your Government so that they can assist you (they will not be able to get you out of trouble or out of jail). Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

Lengthy delays in judicial proceedings are common and may result in individuals having to remain in Mauritius until their case is resolved.

Penalties for drug offences are severe. Penalties for drug trafficking include a prison sentence of up to 60 years and a fine. Bail is not usually granted for drug-related crimes. See our Drugs page.

Some pharmaceutical drugs are illegal in Mauritius. You should carry prescription medicines in their original containers and have a copy of the prescription available for inspection by customs officials. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Mauritius for more information.

It is illegal to purchase counterfeited or pirated goods in Mauritius.

While the law does not prohibit homosexuality, the act of sodomy is illegal regardless of sexual orientation. See the LGBTI traveller’s page.

‘Roll your own cigarette’ papers and rolling machines used to manufacture cigarettes are illegal in Mauritius.

Local customs

There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in Mauritius and you should take care not to offend, especially when visiting rural areas or attending a religious place (shrine, temple, mosque) or event.

Health

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you will be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller’s medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

Some pharmaceutical drugs are illegal in Mauritius. You should carry prescription medicines in their original containers and have a copy of the prescription available for inspection by customs officials. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Mauritius for more information.

The standard of public medical facilities in Mauritius is variable. Most visitors choose to seek treatment with private doctors or at private clinics. Generally, up-front payment is required. While most hospitals and clinics are able to treat patients in the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation by commercial airline (usually to South Africa and at considerable expense) may be necessary for complex cases.

There is only one decompression chamber in Mauritius, which is located at the Victoria Hospital in Quatre Bornes.

Visitors should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue, malaria and chikungunya fever occur in Mauritius, particularly in the warmer months (October to May). The risk of malaria is considered low in Mauritius, but a small number of cases continue to be reported. There is no risk of malaria on Rodrigues Island. We recommend that you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing, and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis) are a risk with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We encourage you to discuss your vaccination requirements with your doctor before travelling. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

In an effort to prevent the spread of Ebola into Mauritius, authorities have banned the entry of foreign nationals who have visited EVD affected countries in the previous 21 days. For more information on the outbreak and other travel restrictions and preventative measures, see the Ebola outbreak in west Africa travel bulletin.

Where to get help

Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.

Service Aide Medicale d’Urgence (SAMU) is a government organisation that provides free ambulance and emergency assistance. The emergency assistance phone number for SAMU is 114. Private emergency ambulance services are also available through private clinic Darne by calling 118 and private clinic Apollo Bramwell on 132. The police emergency hotline is 999.

If the matter relates to complaints about tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Mauritius can experience cyclones.  However, the dates of the conference are outside of the cyclone season.

Mauritius can also experience very high levels of rainfall that can lead to severe flooding.  The conference organisers will monitor the weather through local and international media. Weather information is also available on the following websites:

 World Meteorological Organization and follow the link to Severe Weather Information Centre.

Meteo France–Reunion and follow the link to Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre for the South-West Indian Ocean.

NOAA National Weather Centre and follow the link to Climate Prediction Centre.

All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches.

If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Source: Smart Traveller




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